Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Dutch Innovation: Inside the Feyenoord Academy

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The Feyenoord Academy, or Varkenoord as it is known in Holland as one of the premier developmental environments in the country. With famed graduates such as Robin Van Persie, Royston Drenthe, Jordie Clasie & Leroy Fer (to name a few) the club has won the Rinus Michels Award for best academy in the country multiple times.

Player Development Project was interested to know more about just what goes on at Feyenoord so we caught up with foundation phase coach and brain behaviour and learning researcher, Glenn van der Kraan.

Glenn is a young man forming a strong reputation in player development with Feyenoord. So how did he start his football journey? Glenn explains, “I played football from the age of 4 or 5. I’ve got two older brothers as well and we played for our village football club. When I was 13 I started coaching youth teams at the village club and my brother was coaching the U19s at the same club.” He continues, “Football was very much part of our family, my father was a sports journalist so we were always watching or talking football and I was brought up on the game.”

Having had a taste of coaching at a very young age, Glenn began his qualifications whilst still at school, explaining, “When I got to the age of 16 I started to do my first qualifications in coaching and really enjoyed the courses. I got my first UEFA badge at 18 just as I finished college. From there, I decided I would stop playing football at about 19 and went off to University in Brussells.”

So although Glenn is involved now works for Feyenoord

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